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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


LUNA MATOS, Matilde Lena; SALINAS PIELAGO, Joel  and  LUNA FIGUEROA, Antonio. Major depression in pregnant women served by the National Materno-Perinatal Institute in Lima, Peru. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.4, pp.310-314. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of major depression during pregnancy and to define the sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics of pregnant women with major depression treated by the outpatient clinic at a hospital in Lima, Peru. METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional study with simple association. The analysis consisted of 222 pregnant women 16-42 years of age with low obstetric risk who had visited the outpatient services of the Obstetrics Department at the National Materno-Perinatal Institute in Lima, Peru, from 2 June-28 November 2006. Each pregnant woman was given the Edinburgh Depression Scale and a questionnaire on sociodemographic and obstetric data. The relationship between the study variables was determined by the presence of major depression revealed through either χ2 or Z tests, depending on variable type. RESULTS: Of the 222 pregnant women studied, 89 (40.1%) had major depression. Fewer married women tended to be depressed; those with unplanned pregnancies and pregnancy complications were more often depressed than their peers. Age, number of children, gestational stage, educational level, history of abortion/miscarriage, consumption of alcohol or other drugs, lack of family support, and perceived marital, family, or financial problems were not found to influence depression frequency. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of major depression among pregnant women was very high. Special attention should be given to women with unplanned pregnancies and those experiencing complications during pregnancy, so that an early diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment offered.

Keywords : Depressive disorder, major; pregnancy complications; Peru.

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